JC / Railbird

Frankel

Spa Babies

Saratoga opens Friday, and that means some very well bred, very high-priced, and very interesting juveniles will be running, such as this one (DRF+):

Perhaps the most intriguing colt on the grounds from a pedigree standpoint is Brooklyn Bobby, trained by Brian Lynch. Brooklyn Bobby, named in honor of the late Bobby Frankel, is a son of the undefeated European champion Frankel out of the Grade 1 winner Balance, who is a half-sister to Zenyatta. Brooklyn Bobby has worked well on dirt and had a decent work on turf this week.

Lynch said Brooklyn Bobby could debut on turf Aug. 6.

“He’s the sort of a horse if he was guy, you’d want to hang out with him because he’s a cool, cool horse,” Lynch said. “He’s got a great demeanor, and he’s very unexcitable. He seems to take everything in.”

Frankel is off to a good start as a sire, with seven winners from nine runners through July 11: “The verdict so far is favourable. Mostly.”

The Saratoga juveniles spreadsheet will return this year (the 2015 edition.)

9/6/16 Update: The complete 2016 Saratoga juveniles spreadsheet.

Cunco Wins

And this is a great opening line: “Frankel remains unbeaten.”

Odds and Ends

Dick Jerardi doesn’t care where a single comes in a bet sequence: “The way I look at it, there are two possibilities: I am going to be right or I am going to be wrong. When that is determined is irrelevant.”

Can you be the best ever if you need a rabbit?

Breeders’ Cup Turf Trends: It’s all about the finish.

As much as I’d like to think Excelebration will be the second-favorite to Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (and available at 3-1 or better), raceday betting will probably look more like the current ante-post odds.

Appreciating Frankie Dettori, “global proponent of la dolce vita.”

No Equal

As good as Frankel’s offspring may be, they’ll likely never be as good as him:

Curiously, Frankel appears doomed not to produce a son or daughter who is superior to him. The Racing Post’s bloodstock expert, Tony Morris, writes: “No horse rated 138 has ever sired a horse rated 138 or above. Frankel may well get plenty of good runners, and I hope he does, but I can guarantee he will never sire his equal; he is the ceiling, and regression to the mean dictates that all his stock will be inferior to him.”

This is probably also true of Beyer speed figures. Has a horse who has peaked at 120 or above ever sired an equal? Ghostzapper topped out at 128 (in the 2004 Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park); Contested and Hunters Bay, two of his best progeny, certainly haven’t come close to such a number.

Re: Ghostzapper, his 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic win is remembered as part of the Hello Race Fans’ Three Great Moments BC series.

Frantasticulous

The Champion Stakes wasn’t Frankel’s most brilliant win (replay), but it didn’t have to be. His winning margin was 1 3/4 lengths, well below his average, and the provisional ratings of 139 from Timeform and 137 from Racing Post put the race slightly below his best. But he exits a perfect 14-for-14, and that’s what everyone in the stands at Ascot was there to see.

Sad as his retirement might be, take comfort that Frankel will endure:

One day far in the future, after all those who will watch his final race at Ascot are gone, a horse may win a Classic at Epsom or maybe Newmarket, and someone in the grandstand will trace through its pedigree, come upon the name of Frankel and think to themselves: “Ah, the mighty Frankel. Now there’s a horse I’d have loved to see racing.”

Today, though, wouldn’t you like to hug Frankel too?

I’ve enjoyed every moment of it,” says rider Tom Queally. So have we.

3:10 PM Addendum: Love this detail from Sporting Life’s Champions Day live blog: “Even the Queen hung around to look at this incredible beast.”

10/21/12 See Also: From the BBC, facts about Frankel, such as, his total winning margin in 14 races was 76.25 lengths.

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